Meeting of the Socialist International Middle East Committee, Ramallah and Tel Aviv

14-15 May 2002

A meeting of the Socialist International Middle East Committee opened in Ramallah on Thursday 14 March, with the participation of the President of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah, Yasser Arafat. The meeting resumed on the following day in Tel Aviv where delegates were addressed by the leader of the Israel Labour Party and Israel's Minister of Defence, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the leader of Meretz, Yossi Sarid, and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

The two-day discussions centred on how to stop the violence and resume the peace negotiations in the region, building on the long-standing commitments of the International for peace in the Middle East and reflecting the concerns of social democrats worldwide about the latest tragic developments in the region.

The meeting provided a platform for dialogue and discussion with the leaders and representatives of the International's member parties in the region, the Israel Labour Party, Meretz and Fatah, counting with the participation of Thorbjørn Jagland, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and Chair of the Committee; Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International; and representatives of SI member parties, from the Social Democratic Party of Austria, the Socialist Party, PS, of Belgium, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Labour Party of Great Britain, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Greece, the Democrats of the Left, DS, of Italy, the Italian Democratic Socialists, SDI, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces of Morocco, the Labour Party of the Netherlands, the Norwegian Labour Party, the Socialist Party of Portugal, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and of the International Union of Socialist Youth, Socialist International Women, and the Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists.